Back in issue 140, we posted a Short Topic article titled Biomechanical Advantage Extended Sets. In it, we gave a few examples of how you could stretch out a set by making use of the fact that you can give yourself a biomechanical advantage simply by changing your foot or hand position.
For instance, everyone who's ever done curls knows that reverse curls are much harder than conventional curls. And, if you're really sharp, you know that you're stronger doing hammer curls than you are doing conventional supinated-grip curls. But what if you used all three grips in one set? You'd start with reverse-grip curls, rep out, and by switching to a supinated or conventional grip, you could keep going for a few more reps.
And if, after repping out with the supinated grip, you switched to a hammer grip, you could extend the set even further. That's exactly the premise behind biomechanical advantage extended sets. Here's the exact example we gave back in issue 140 (it's one that was popularized by Poliquin):
• Do a set of 2-3 R.M. of one-arm Scott Dumbbell Reverse Curls (that's with the palm facing the floor).
• Rest 2-3 seconds, and rotate the hand so you're in the position to do standard Scott Dumbbell Curls (with the palm facing upwards).
• Rep out to failure (you'll most likely do 2-3 reps).
• Rest 2-3 seconds, and then rotate the hand so that you're in the position to do Hammer Curls (that's with the thumb facing up).
• Rep out to failure.
This is a great technique and it gives that nice, crampy, arms-on-fire feeling we all love so much. We also offered a few other movements for back and quads in the original article, but we didn't offer anything for triceps because, well, we couldn't think of one!
However, after getting zoned out of our minds on Fruit Loops and beer last night, we came up with one. Here it is (oh, and by the way, after a lot of experimentation, we've found that doing a set of 5-6 R.M. works better than doing sets of 2-3 R.M., as long as you don't do more than one extended set per bodypart):
Seated Overhead Triceps Extensions (single arm)
• Do a set of 5-6 R.M. reverse-grip overhead dumbbell extensions (in the start position, the back of your hand should be facing the celing).
• Rest 2-3 seconds, and then rotate the palm so that you're in the position to do standard overhead dumbbell extensions (in the start position, the palm should be facing the ceiling).
• Rep out to failure (you'll most likely do 4-5 reps).
• Rest 2-3 seconds, and then rotate the hand so that you're in a neutral position (in the start position, your thumb should be facing the ground).
• Rep out to failure (you'll most likely get 3-4 reps).
Give it a go, and if you think of any others, let us know.